Finally Some Competetion!

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After winning 8 straight games in the postseason, the Royals have finally found a little competition.  The San Francisco Giants, and Madison Bumgarner finally landed a postseason punch on the Kansas City Royals, a feat no other team can boast.  And it was no jab to the body they landed but a well placed upper cut to the jaw. It will be interesting to see how the perpetual underdogs will react to this initial onslaught.

Here are some take aways from the game that I noticed.

First: Shields<Bumgarner.  James Shields is a really good pitcher, and is a HUGE reason why this team has made it this far.  But he is not a true ace.  He labors through way too many games throwing 100+ pitches in 5 to 6 innings to do that.  If you need proof, just check out last nights start, and you will see why I say this.  Bumgarner (who is only 25 by the way) proceeded to throw his 20th+ inning of shutout road baseball in the playoffs.  Salvador Perez finally broke this streak of nearly three full games without giving up a run with a 7th inning solo homerun.  That is ACE worthy.  Especially when you see Shields has a 7.11 ERA.  That is third worst all time for a playoff starter with four starts in one postseason.  Maybe he is not such a "Big Game" pitcher as his name indicates.  I wonder what this does for his offseason free-agency?  Maybe this is why the Royals seemed so interested in re-signing him.  He may be pretty cheap.

Second: The rust was real.  I don't have exact numbers to indicate this, but the ole' eye test sure seemed to show it.  I can't remember a game the Royals had where they fouled more pitches off.  I felt like Danny Duffy was on the mound (oh wait he was…just for us), as many tips and taps as there were.  Baseball is a game of inches….and timing.  And if your timing is off just a little, you miss a bats sweet spot, or squaring a ball up, by inches.  And that is exactly what I saw in last nights game.  NOW it also may have had something to do with a 93 MPH cutter that broke about 7 inches in the last 1/3 of it's path to home…but I still think missing some of the swings we did had to have been a result of the time off.

Third: That being said the time off will be beneficial for the Royals.  Salvy looked rejuvenated.  He still swung at some crap pitches (but that won't change if he has two years to rest).  But when he did connect he drove one into the bullpen.  I think the time off also will help the bullpen, and the outfield as it takes a toll to stand out there for 10 pitches in a row, then be called to full sprint 30 yards and end in a head long dive.  I truly believe it is a positive that they had the time off.

Fourth: Dan Duffy may actually be hurt.  But he still looked good enough to pitch to me.  I really think there was something wrong with his leg in the first inning.  He was acting really funny after pitching.  He also wore down, but hey he looked way better than Shields, and I would say may be a more viable starter than Shields on short rest!

Fifth: Sung Woo is a bigger star than Paul Rudd, Jeff Foxworth, or Erc Stonestreet (or at least to Royals Fans he is).  There are some fun reports out of KCI that most people didn't realize these guys were on the same flight, because Sung Woo captured all the attention.  It's a fun story, and even last night they showed Sung Woo and Paul Rudd rubbing elbows next to each other.  Also how completely bad a$$ was it that Tech N9ne was right behind home plate.  Did anyone else notice that?

Last: We are one loss closer to celebrating winning the World Series at Kauffman.  We need a game 6 in order to pop more Champaign at Kauffman, then get drenched at Power and Light.  So here is hoping the Royals Lose another one.

In the End it doesn't matter which 4 games you win, just as long as you win 4!  And right now the Royals only have to win 4 more games to become World Series Champions!!!!

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